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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Angry (not) Birds

"I hurt myself today.  To see if I still feel." -- Nine Inch Nails

I got angry this morning.

Wait, that's probably not accurate.

I EXPLODED this morning. 

I have been feeling neglected and left out by an old friend of mine.  I feel as though I have been doing more to maintain the relationship than he has.  The more I noticed it, the more I stuffed my disappointment, rationalizing my perception of his behavior as "me simply overreacting".  I made excuses such as "well, he's really busy".  But, I would notice him making time for and reaching out to other people. 

I felt completely excluded and cast aside.

After seeing yet another indicator of this, I completely blew up, which is not my nature.  I shot off an angry message to him letting him know that I was on to him.  He laughed it off, thinking I was kidding.  Even after I told him I was serious, he still laughed it off.

Again, I don't do angry well.  It's not my nature.  I'm pretty sure he knows that about me too because I really do think he believes I'm just f**king with him.

Well, let me just tell you, I now know why I don't.  It feels AWFUL!  After the back and forth exchange with my friend, I just felt hot and flushed.  My heart was pounding and my breath quickened.  I literally had to steady myself with both hands on the chair and put my head down in an effort to calm myself. 

This went on for a good 10-15 minutes.  And then, it began to lift.  I felt freer, calmer and more rational.

Know why?  Because I finally LET IT OUT.

You see, anger in and of itself isn't such a bad thing.  It's how we manage it that matters.  I was feeling hurt and left out by my friend and, instead of acknowledging my feelings, I minimized them.  I folded them up into teeny, tiny, little pieces and shoved them as far down as I could.  Essentially, I put a band-aid on a broken arm.  Judging by my reaction this morning, I have been doing this for quite some time; probably for at least the past couple of years.  My anger was an indicator that something was off with me.  It started off as a whisper, then a low voice, followed by a firm tone which crescendoed into a vicious scream. 

I finally got my own attention.  Thank goodness.

As a general rule, people don't like to feel pain.  Have you noticed this?  Why do you think headaches last longer than orgasms?  We prolong our own misery in the hopes that it'll just forget about us and move on to something or somebody else.  However, it's like deferring a student loan.  We get a momentary reprieve but one of these days, it'll be time to pay the piper and, believe me, it's much more expensive than if we had just settled up in the first place.

Get what I mean?

I'm breathing easier and deeper now and I feel much more clarity than I did before.  I have been feeling left out and cast aside from my friend.  On the one hand, friends shouldn't keep score.  However, if there is a pattern of one person doing all the rowing while the other person is just sitting in the boat, then there is a definite inequity going on.  I can either accept him for who he is at this moment and be honest with my feelings, giving him a chance to explain, or I can continue to reach out the way I have been and set myself up for more potential hurt and disappointment.  I think I can forgive him, love him and leave him be, while focusing on all the other good relationships I have in my life.  Sometimes, people change and the path of friendship divides.  It may rejoin at some point or it may not.  Regardless of what happens with us, I will instead remember all the good times I shared with him and appreciate what he brought to me.

The moral of the story, courtesy of Colin Powell? Get mad, then get over it.

On a lighter note, I've been wondering what the !@#*&^ I could write about this week. 

Problem solved.

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